International Journal of Society Systems Science (15 papers in press)
A longitudinal analysis of Internet use. The case of Greece.
by Elias Gounopoulos, Stavros Valsamidis, Ioannis Kazanidis, Sotirios Kontogiannis
Abstract: Internet usage for capital enhancing activities is not considered by the Greeks necessary to their everyday life. The majority of the Greek users prefer to use it for communication, entertainment and information, while fewer are using it for electronic banking services, educational activities, etc. This paper examines the changing effect of socio-economic and demographic factors on Internet use in Greece, for the years 2013 and 2015.
We used multivariate analysis to analyse the micro data of the surveys, on the use of ICTs by the households and individuals, conducted by the Hellenic statistical authority. Our results show that Internet use in Greece reflects and reproduces current social inequalities. The people who are employed, educated, live in urban areas and have higher income, benefit more from using the Internet. Although the inequalities in Internet use seem to decrease marginally, policy measures should adopt a targeted strategy for vulnerable social groups.
Keywords: Digital divide; Digital inequality; Internet use; Multivariate analysis; Greece.
Improving the Entropy weighting Method Performance by Using Alternative Normalization Procedures
by Mohammad Azadfallah
Abstract: There is no doubt that the Shannon entropy's is the most popular method to obtain attribute weights in Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) area. Despite its usefulness, entropy has some notable limitations. Historically, since Shannon and Weaver introduced entropy concept in 1947, and Zeleny in which applied it for attribute weights in 1976, up to present times, a significant drawback with this approach is that a very important attribute may have little weight in analysis. Because all the alternatives are close in terms of that, attribute. So, in this paper to resolve this limit a new normalized method is considered. The finding of this study reveals that some methods (i.e. Peldschus, juttler- Korth, Max and Stopp) are better than others (Total Ratios, Vector, Weitendorf's, Voogd Ratio, Logarithmic and Product method). Hence, in continuation, we generated 100 decision matrix, in the range of 1 to 100 for three first criteria (C1, C2, and C3), and 50 to 60 for last criteria (C4), with random numbers. The results indicated that, in 100% of times average of the criteria weights with small difference between alternatives (here, C4), had increased from 0.002 to 0.324, 0.391, 0.391 and 0.343 values, for Peldschus, Juttler-Korth, Max and Stopp method. However, in 45%, 77%, 77% and 95% of times rank reversal are happened, respectively. In sum, it is suggested that first, we calculate the results with both model (the conventional and extended model), then we test them against rank preservation or reversal. Since, rank is preserved when desired (if the extended model results [in other words, rank order] were consistent with the conventional model), and allowed to reverse as necessary.
Keywords: MCDM; Entropy; Improved Entropy Weighting Method.
Drivers of Purchasing Intention towards Non-Asbestos Roofing Sheets in Sri Lanka
by Poornima K. Gayathree, D. Wasantha Kumara, H.M.T. Madhushani
Abstract: Statistics shows that the building materials has also shown an upward trend in terms of usage. Out of these roofing sheets was a massively discussed topic in 2017 because of its hazardous health impact. Therefore study attempts to explore whether the Sri Lankan has developed a positive attitude towards the environmental friendliness of the non-asbestos roofing sheets. The results showed that, a significant effect of health consciousness, consumer knowledge and perception of product quality on the attitude towards the environmental friendliness of non-asbestos roofing sheets. Further, attitude towards the environmental friendliness of non-asbestos roofing sheets had a significant influence on the purchasing intention. The mediating effect of attitude towards environmental friendliness was only significant for the relationship of health consciousness and consumer knowledge with the purchasing intention. Therefore, it can be concluded that, the Sri Lankan consumer consider the environmental friendliness of non-asbestos roofing sheets.
Keywords: Consumer attitude towards the environmental friendliness of non-asbestos roofing sheets; Perception of product quality; Health consciousness; Consumer knowledge; Purchase.
Analysis The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Tax Avoidance with Profitability and Firm Size as Moderating Variables
by Frandy Karundeng, Vierly Ananta Upa, Yanuar Dananjaya
Abstract: Companies that take benefits of natural resources are required to implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Besides, they have an obligation to pay tax. CSR and Tax have the same goal to improve the community welfare, while both are expenses for the companies. These similarities allow companies with high CSR activities to decrease the amount of tax payable through tax avoidance practices. The results of this study show that the higher the level of CSR activities, the higher the companys responsibility for its tax obligations. Moreover, CSR has stronger influence on decreasing tax avoidance if CSR is carried out by large companies. Profitability does not moderate the relationship because of the weakening economic conditions of mining industry. In addition, companies with high CSR activities assumed that tax payment became a part of CSR, so they did not consider CSR and tax payment to be separated and mutually replaceable.
Keywords: CSR; tax avoidance; profitability; firm size; sustainability; tax ratio; tax payment; mining industry; Indonesia; voluntary.
Using precision of users reviews to improve the performance of Matrix Factorization method in Recommender Systems
by Masoumeh Nafari, Vahid Seydi, Hamidreza Hosseinkhani
Abstract: Recommender systems try to discover some latent features of users and items by looking at the available information such as users history of ratings to items and then use these latent factors to estimate users interest level to a particular item.
Traditional methods such as standard Matrix Factorization rely on the ratings that users have submitted explicitly, no matter the impact of each latent factor on the total rating. Textual reviews that are posted by users can provide us some insight into the major motive behind the ratings.
A first-order gradient method for matrix factorization is proposed in this paper that considers two parameters while finding optimal latent vectors.
1. The impact of each latent factor on total rating.
2. The precision of each review.
Evaluating the method on YELP dataset shows that the algorithm converges the squared error and improves the performance remarkably.
Keywords: Information Retrieval; Recommender System; Collaborative Filtering; Matrix Factorization; Gradient Descent; Topic Model; Latent Dirichlet Allocation; Natural Language Processing; Measure of dispersion; Coefficient of variation; Precision of comment.
Enhanced Balanced scorecard Framework for Performance evaluation of Universities
by Neda Jalaliyoon
Abstract: This paper aims to develop an enhanced framework to evaluate the performance of universities based on the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) where it utilized the Multiple-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) technique. Based from the literature reviews on BSC method, experts has highlighted the strength and limitations of this framework, and it has been proposed that this framework can be enhanced by including two other important elements which are Staff and Environment.In this research study, the mixed research methodology (the qualitative as well as the quantitative research methods) is used. The qualitative research method is the interviews conducted with the experts in the BSC and Nvivo analysis tool are used to analyse the data. The enhanced BSC framework is implemented as Case Study Method in Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Two questionnaires were developed (i) for prioritizing strategic objectives and for BSC Perspectives, and (ii) for ranking the performance indicators. The quantitative research method is the MCDM techniques (consists of ANP and TOPSIS) employed to analyse the questionnaires. The result indicated that, Stakeholder was the factor of significant influence where it had the highest rank compared to other perspectives. This study also showed that Internal Process and Learning and Growth perspectives played an important role to evaluate universities' performance. In general, there were three top key performance indices identified which were, Number of publications in citation indexed journals, Number of new facilities for increasing student learning, and Number of academic programmes initiated for international accreditation. The proposed performance evaluation (BSC) model could be considered as an important reference for universities to evaluate their performance.
Keywords: Performance management; Performance evaluation; Balanced Scorecard; Higher education; Multi-Criteria Decision-Making techniques (MCDM); Fuzzy Delphi Method (FDM); Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS).
How a College Solved the Problem of Large-Scale Multi-Criteria Team Formation
by William Young, Vic Matta
Abstract: This paper discusses a goal programming technique for creating equitable teams from large numbers of individuals with differing attributes and talents subject to multiple constraints. The solution is derived based on a utility function that applies a weighted penalty for deviation from the optimally equitable team. This technique is then tested by forming teams from a pool of over 200 students with a range of attributes for a high-quality business consulting experience. In addition to saving time and effort, benefits include procedural justice and elimination of bias, defensibility of team formation and expectation of trust, and equitable distribution of competence across teams. As demonstrated here, the technique was remarkably successful at creating teams with respect to the competing priorities from stakeholders. Results are discussed in detail and exemplify efficiency, scalability, and most importantly, equitably formed teams.
Keywords: Equitable Team Formation; Higher Education; Optimization; Goal Programming.
Enshrined education rights: a three state comparison
by Thomas Mc Donagh
Abstract: This article will examine enshrined education rights in the UK, Ireland and the USA. This comparative analysis will consider what constitute education rights, what it means for rights to be enshrined and whether and where education rights are enshrined in these three countries. It will also consider whether it may be possible to achieve as much or more through aligning education rights to other rights as is necessitated by the nature of the US Constitution as by upholding a right to education through less formal constitutional means as in the UK or whether the soundest footing is to be in a position to litigate upon explicitly protected constitutional or otherwise enshrined rights to education as in the Irish Constitution. Finally, it will cite research indicating that educational rights necessarily support educational sustainability which is a prerequisite to economic and environmental sustainability and development.
Keywords: 1870 Education Act; Article 42; Brown v Board of Education; Constitution of Ireland; education rights; enshrined rights; human rights; US Constitution; Sinnott v Minister for Education; sustainability; TD v Minister for Education; Plessy v Ferguson.
The career women of Kabul and their struggle for an empowered identity
by Waslat Lema Atifmal, Cody Morris Paris, Mahine Rizvi Ahmad
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of Afghan women as they pursue careers in post-Taliban Kabul and how these experiences help shape their identity. This study, through in-depth interviews with professional women in Kabul, explores how women continue to challenge stereotypes and fight various forms of oppression. The results of the study have highlighted how women in Afghanistan are motivated by opportunities to exercise economic autonomy and empowered identities that challenge both historical issues of patriarchal society. However, there are still many barriers facing Afghan women including access to quality education, political instability along with issues around challenging Western stereotypes and assumptions regarding Afghan women.
Keywords: empowerment; social justice; post-Taliban; Afghanistan; social inclusion; post-conflict education; international development; gender equality; education access.
Sustainable development: perspectives from Canadian jurisprudence on First Nations' Aboriginal rights and title
by Tracie Lea Scott
Abstract: First Nations across Canada have been in the courts for generations to protect their lands and societies. It will be argued in this paper that the resulting sui generis instantiation of Aboriginal title formulated in the courts reflects some of the more challenging aspects of sustainable development discourse. In this paper key Canadian court decisions will be examined to illustrate how the courts have addressed aspects of sustainable development in Aboriginal rights and title litigation, which are traditionally difficult to measure and implement. Indeed, these cases provide a window into how courts may implement sustainable development goals if these considerations become integrated into broader legal determinations, and provide insight what may become expected if deep sustainable development becomes accepted into dominant domestic legal and political systems.
Keywords: sustainable development; Canada; First Nations; sui generis Aboriginal title; duty to consult.
Community development model for poverty eradication of indigenous people in Malaysia
by Muhamad Azahar Abas, Mohamad Faiz Mohd Amin, Lee Seong Wei, Nor Hizami Hassin
Abstract: Orang Asli is one of the most vulnerable groups in Malaysia, with a disproportionately high incidence of hardcore poverty. The community development model (CDM) was adopted to implement the catfish farming program for the Orang Asli at Kelantan, Malaysia. A focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted to explore the benefits and challenges of the catfish farming program. A total of ten Orang Asli had participated in this study. Content analysis was conducted and it was discovered that the knowledge of Orang Asli on catfish farming and marketing has increased. Besides that, this study also found out that Orang Asli has gained significant skills specifically in business management. Moreover, this project is still ongoing and it is expected to provide opportunities for Orang Asli to increase their income from the sale of catfish. Besides that, identification of challenges is very crucial in the effort to improve this program in the future.
Keywords: community development model; CDM; indigenous people; poverty eradication; Malaysia.
Stakeholders' role in delivering sustainable supply chains in the construction sector
by Sreejith Balasubramanian
Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine the role of each key supply chain stakeholders (developers, architects/consultants, contractors and suppliers) and other extended stakeholders (regulatory bodies, buyers/end users and non-government organisations) in delivering sustainable supply chains in the construction sector. The primary qualitative data for this study was collected from semi-structured interviews covering key stakeholders. The analysis of interview transcripts revealed the relevance and importance of each stakeholder as well as the various conflicting interests and challenges in engaging them to implement sustainable practices in a coherent manner vis-à-vis other supply chain stakeholders. The findings are expected to help environmental policymakers and industry leaders to make (informed) stakeholder specific policy changes, devise actions, strategies, and support mechanisms to effectively maximise/leverage the potential/contribution of each stakeholder, especially those who are lagging behind the others. The study is arguably the first attempt to understand the role of each stakeholder in delivering sustainable supply chains in the construction sector.
Keywords: construction sector; sustainability; stakeholders; United Arab Emirates; sustainable supply chains.
Special Issue on: ICBBS 2019 Discussing Business and Behaviour Studies Using an Interdisciplinary Approach
Understanding Window Dressing Practices Among Indonesian Construction Companies: An Effort To Minimize Investment Risks
by Gatot Iwan Kurniawan
Abstract: The current focus of Indonesian government on infrastructure development provides an opportunity for funding agencies to invest in construction and building companies. This opportunity, however, is not always directly proportional to the share performance of these Indonesian building and construction companies. This study examines window dressing practices conducted by some construction and building companies as an attempt to manipulate their financial status. Companies carry out this manipulative practice to attract possible investors and other funding agencies in their business. To detect and avoid this fraudulent practice, investors need to carefully calculate the cash holdings and stock performance of these companies. The study found different result of calculation between the two techniques. Cash holdings technique confirms the fact that most companies perform window dressing to attract investors. Meanwhile, showing the real firm performance, stock performance technique is only adopted by a small number of companies. This finding is expected to contribute to risk management, in relation to identifying a risk.
Keywords: cash holding; investment risk; stock performance; window dressing.
CONTEXTUAL DIVIDE, METHODOLOGICAL VARIATIONS AND THEORETICAL USAGE OF VOLUNTARY EMPLOYEE GREEN BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH: A REVIEW
by Hewawasam Puwakpitiyage Rasika Priyankara, Naotunna Palliya Guruge Sasika Irani Naotunna
Abstract: Environmental degradation, coupled with greenhouse gas emissions, is one of the contemporary critical issues faced by society. Business organizations are significant contributors to the eco-system distortion. Voluntary Employee Green Behavior (VEGB), is inevitable in mitigating ecosystem damages and reaching the environmental sustainability goals. This article aims to review the literature on VEGB to identify and evaluate the contextual dispersion, the methodological variations, and the theoretical rigorousness of VEGB studies. We used an iterative multistage approach to collect literature. The analysis shows a continental divide of VEGB research since the majority of research is concentrated in the USA and EU. The prominent methodological approach used in VEGB research is quantitative, and a limited number of studies are qualitative. Though the researchers have used multi-level conceptual frameworks, only a handful of studies have applied multi-level analysis. Notably, the multi-theory applications in VEGB studies are rare. The study findings imply the need for uncovering the VEGB knowledge in developing country contexts, using multi-level analysis, and employing a multi-theory perspective. This review provides the direction to generate further knowledge about VEGB, which will be beneficial in mitigating ecosystem damages and developing a responsible society.
Keywords: Voluntary Employee Green Behaviour; Environment Sustainability; Multi-level analysis; Literature Review; Multi-theory Perspective.
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
by PREMSANKAR MANICKAVASAGAM
Abstract: Nature feeds all in an enormous way for the benefit of human beings and living creatures with the concept of ecology behavior. Charles Robert Darwin (Naturalist) stated the evolution of human mankind is from apes however in the current practice the technology is the creator as well as the destroyer for behavior in human being and environment. Ephemeral conditions prevail with the advancement of technology. Even though, the technology paved the way for business change the behavior is totally abstruse. The higher the technology dependable factor the bane is not too far for humans and nature. As per the online reports 13 tonnes of water is used to produce a single Smartphone leading to scarcity of water which in turn implicated to global warming. The author in this paper finds the bombastic situation with technology causing emotional sickness in reacting to cross situation and health issues like aging. The author is coining a new term Anthropoid Mechanic Syndrome (AMS), due to consistent implications of technology in day to day activities. The analysis was found that human stress factor caused by technology is circumvent to lose the self freedom of expression indulging in contravene situation. As per secondary data Asia is a biggest hub for technology growth but the mission created by technology revolutionize even the human creator to a different behavior triggering natural disaster. Technology proves to be the hegemony in the forecasting years and acting as a liaison between the human behavior and business environment.
Keywords: Bombastic; Stress; Anthropoid.